Leaders: Help Your Team Envision Their Own Story

 Today’s article is the fourth in a series learning from the book by Paul Smith, Lead With A Story: A Guide to Crafting Business Narratives that Captivate, Convince, and Inspire. The book is available wherever bestselling books are sold.


What if, following a meeting and discussion with your team, each member sought you out or sent you a personalized email saying something similar to, “Wow! I want that to be my story two years from now. I’m in!”


These are your team members – the valuable people who get the work done and collectively either achieve or do not achieve the mission and the strategic and annual goals of your organization. Imagine that following a meeting with you, in which you expertly laid out your vision for the next two years, every member of your team is saying, “I’m in… I’m all in… together, lets make it happen!”


What did you do that caused your team to so positively react in this way?


In his book, Lead with a Story, author Paul Smith describes a true story he used to engage and inspire his team to help create his vision of the future. Smith carefully constructed and told a story that described what a day in the life of a sales forecaster could be in a future where this vision was reality. Set two years into the future, the story clearly articulated the many personal and professional benefits to each team member who helped create that future. The response to the story included comments, emails and commitments similar to, “Wow! I want that to be my story two years from now. I’m in!”


Smith explains that storytelling can play a key role in three distinct parts of setting a vision for the future:


1.  Getting your audience [your team or direct reports] to pay attention

2.  Delivering your vision so your audience [your team or direct reports] can see themselves in it

3.  Showing that your vision is achievable


Are you using the full and inexpensive power of great stories to engage and inspire your team to achieve your vision for the future? I guarantee you that the best leaders use the incredible power of stories each and every day.


How about you? Do you consistently leverage the power and inspiration of great stories?


NielsenCopyright © 2013 by Dan Nielsen – www.dannielsen.com

National Institute for Healthcare Leadership – www.nihcl.com

America’s Healthcare Leaders – www.americashealthcareleaders.com


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